For some unknown reason, certain phrases within dramas and/or poems become enshrined in the language.  The first lines of this for example, and the phrase ‘movers and shakers’.

In any case when you are next in the Town Hall, you might choose to draw attention to the inscription around the balcony’s frontage (the first couplet of this poem) and flaunt your knowledge!


We are the music-makers

And we are the dreamer of dreams

Wandering by lone sea-breakers

And sitting by desolate streams …

World-losers and world-forsakers

On whom the pale moon gleams

Yet we are the movers and shakers

Of the world, forever it seems.


With wonderful deathless ditties

We build up the world’s great cities

And out of a fabulous story

We fashion an empire’s glory:

One man with a dream, at pleasure

Shall go forth and conquer a crown

And three with a new song’s measure

Can trample a kingdom down.


We, in the ages lying

In the buried past of the earth

Built Nineveh with our sighing

And Babel itself in our mirth …

And o’erthrew them with prophesying

To the old of the new world’s worth;

For each age is a dream that is dying

Or one that is coming to birth.


Arthur O’Shaughnessy

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.